Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)

Famed amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy discovered long period comet C/2014 Q2 in August 2014. It became visible at my latitude in December 2014, but the weather conditions afforded no decent opportunity to view it until the night of December 30/31. There was a lot a moisture in the air and the Moon was very bright (at 75% illumination), but the comet was naked-eye visible. Clouds were on the way, so I opted to quickly set up a DSLR on a tripod to try to capture a few images.

Maybe it's my imagination, but I can barely make out the comet's tail trailing to the upper-left. The stars are streaked due to the Earth's rotation. This was compiled from 5 8-second exposures at ISO-3200 using a Canon EOS Rebel T3 (1100D) with a zoom lens at 55mm.

This is a wide-angle image that shows the comet's location on the night of December 30th. Click on the labels for the indicated objects to open pages that give details. Some of the links will open pages on other web sites.

Horsehead and Flame Nebulae Sword of Orion Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) Sirius (star)

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